Saturday, June 23, 2012
Welcome to Day 174 of our Life Journal!
Click here for today’s reading: 2 Kings 10; 2 Chronicles 22; 2 Chronicles 23; 1 Timothy 5 (2012 Daily Bible Reading Plan)
Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?
S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
2 Kings 10:28, “So Jehu destroyed Baal worship in Israel. 29
he did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he had caused Israel to commit—the worship of the golden calves at Bethel and Dan.”
2 Chronicles 22, Athaliah usurps the throne after the death of her son Ahaziah…
2 Chronicles 23, “The Zadokite priest Jehoiada resisted Queen Athaliah and gained the military support necessary for temple and political reform. Reformation Study Bible
21, “All the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was calm, because Athaliah had been slain with the sword.”
1 Timothy 5:9, “No widow may be put on the list of widows unless she is over sixty, has been faithful to her husband, 10 and is well known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the Lord’s people, helping those in trouble and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds.”
Instructions concerning widows, elders and slaves.
I find it very confusing bouncing around between Kings and Chronicles, even though they somewhat track one another, it’s hard to keep all the characters straight, because they change almost daily.
Stunning to me how brutal some can be “in the name of the Lord.” Seems they are often carrying out the judgment against them.
This passage from 1 Timothy is the passage I used when we were setting up guidelines for providing financial help from our Alms fund.
Paul gave Timothy some pretty clear guidelines as to who to put on the list of widows. And who should not be, and why. Starting with age 60.
v 9, “No widow may be put on the list of widows unless she is over sixty, has been faithful to her husband, 10 and is well known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the Lord’s people, helping those in trouble and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds.”
I wonder what happened if someone needed help and they were 59?
Our criteria for financial aid has been:
Do they attend our church regularly? Have they gone through membership? Is there any record of them having contributed financially? Do they serve in some area of the church? Are they in a small group?
It was amazing to me the number of people who would apply for assistance and they would not meet any of the above criteria. They would claim to know Doug or Scott (as though they were our closest friends) but I wouldn’t recognize their name. One time someone asked if they knew Scott… (I was standing right there…) They proclaimed, “Oh, yeah… I know Scott!” I said, “Yeah, he’s a good guy, isn’t he?” To which they replied, “Yes, he sure is!”
And yet we still occasionally receive criticism due to having guidelines in place.
All of the above criteria indicate there is relationship… and commitment. Relationship with us, our church family and commit to the vision and mission. The phrase “is well known” from v 9 is key here…
We are not a social service agency. We are a church. We are not a foundation set up to write checks to all that apply. We provide groceries to nearly 1,000 households EVERY MONTH. We are doing more than our share.
But I felt that way when we were just getting started, serving just 72 households. (36 in Fairborn and 36 in Huber Heights.) Because it’s not about the number we are helping, or even how we choose to help them. It’s about being faithful to what the Lord has called us to, and walking it out faithfully, with grace. Grace is the key.
Just for the record, we will help ANYBODY in Greene county. (They still must meet ODJFS guidelines, but that is state-wide.) 30% of Greene County qualifies, so it’s really not an issue.
I write this today as I’m getting ready to head to the airport, on my way to a conference in Redding, CA at Bethel Church. Please pray for me and my team while we are away. We’ll be there for two weeks.
I’ll do my best to keep up with the blog in a timely manner!
Thank you Lord that there are even guidelines for being a deacon or an elder. (Husband of one wife, not given to much wine, able to teach, etc.) And thank you that you don’t set the bar so high that none can jump it!